What’s on My Bobbin? – Bright Rainbow Singles

The first and second set of singles
The first and second set of singles

It has been a long time coming, but I have finally finished the bright rainbow singles that have taken forever and day to spin.  The bobbin is plump full of mixed wool of lovely colors that must now be put into a skein before giving them several rounds of fiber abuse so the final kinks can relax.  After torturing the skein with alternating hot and cold water, I will take out my frustrations as I whack the skein on the deck railing.

This might sound excessively cruel, but it’s how the springy singles settle down.  As long as I don’t agitate the yarn while it’s in the hot water it won’t become a felted disaster.  This skein is mixed wool and not something more delicate such as merino.

So What is the Process?

I let the singles rest on the bobbin for a few days.  Then I wound them onto the niddy noddy where I discovered, to my disappointment, that there was only 472 (3.936 oz.) yards on this skein.  The original has 590 (3.968 oz.) yards.  There is a difference of 118 yards (0.032 oz.).  The total yardage of the two skeins is 1062 yards so I shouldn’t be too unhappy.  Besides, with all the distractions and disappointments going on in my life while I was spinning this roving, I should have expected that this wasn’t going to be as consistent as the first skein.

The kinks and the curls prior to fulling the yarn
The kinks and the curls prior to fulling the yarn

**Note:  In hindsight (a few minutes later actually) the skein with more yardage weighs slightly more so the difference isn’t as bad as I originally imagined.  Whew!

Since my plan is to crochet a lacy shawl, I will alternate each skein in the rows so if there is a visible inconsistency it will be somewhat hidden.  And speaking of turning these two skeins into a lacy shawl, what pattern shall I use?  Oh the problems of being a spinning crocheter!

Now onto the Fulling Process

I found a blog post by Jobo Designs on fulling yarn.  She does a great job of explaining the reasons behind this finishing technique as well as the basic steps.

Before and after whacking
After whacking the singles on the deck railing the yarn relaxed even more and the kinks are mostly gone.

I usually full my yarn in the bathroom because it’s closest to the hot water heater.  This time I did the hot part in a large plastic container and the cold in the sink.  It works much better to keep the two temperatures as far apart as possible.  I don’t usually keep ice cubes in the freezer so adding them to the cold water wasn’t an option.

Questionable Yarn Treatment Practices

The finished yarn drying on the deck
The finished yarn drying on the deck

Now comes my favorite part; however, it also makes other people question my sanity.  I took the skein outside and after carefully making sure that the ties kept the strands separate, I began whacking the yarn on the deck railing.  Three whacks on each of the four corners of the skein and quite a bit of grunting happened during this step.  Then I gave it one more pull on each of the two ends to put the yarn into place before hanging on the shepherd’s hook to dry.

As you can see in the photo, the yarn is not 100% perfectly balanced, but it is much better than singles I have done in the past.  I’m slowly mastering spinning which makes me quite proud of myself.

Have you ever spun yarn you intended solely for singles?  How did it come out?  Did you full it?  Or did you get frustrated with what looks like a huge disaster?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

What’s on My Bobbin? – The Trials of Spinning

New braid to spin
Things have to look better soon so I can spin this lovely merino roving I recently picked up from my LYS.

Oh, the trials of spinning!  It’s always in the back of my mind.  However, things have been happening lately that have prevented me from spending an afternoon (or even five minutes) doing what I love.  Loki, my spinning wheel, has been neglected of late.  Some of this has been his own fault and some has been mine.  Relationships are a two-way street, even with a spinning wheel.

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Misc. Monday – Bunny Molt 3.5

Not a chicken
“Go ahead. Try to pluck me like a chicken. I dare you.” Or a rabbit that’s not going to take kindly to having her fur stolen right off her body.

Bunny Molt 3.5 has begun in earnest and I’m struggling to keep up with the flying fur.  It rained yesterday and into last night so everything is pretty wet this morning.  While this saves me from watering the plants in the yard, trying to keep the bunny fuzz under control is another matter. After brushing off the shelf the bun sisters like to sit on, the black cotton plant has white bits on it from somebunny’s cotton bottom.

I’m feeling an uncontrollable urge to pluck some bunnies. Yuki looks like she’s wearing a saddle with a clear line between old and new fur. “And your face!  What happened to your face?  It looks like your mask is coming off. ” I’m sure she’ll try to run off the moment I grab the bunny fur paper bag. (“Do I look like a chicken?”)

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What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend

Henna, Cutch, and Madder
Henna, Cutch, and Madder – the three natural dyes we used this past weekend. (Please ignore the horrible spinning. These were my very first skeins from Loki, my spinning wheel.)

Natural dyeing was not something I thought I would have more than passing interest.  However, I failed to realized that it taps strongly into my love of foraging.  I love finding plants for the bun sisters to nibble on so they have a varied diet.  But foraging to dye fiber or yarn?  Ehh…  Not so much.

Then came last Sunday.  I spent the afternoon using plant-based dyes with my spinner’s group.  Wow!  That was incredibly fun!  Though the yarn was not as intense as what I dyed in the past using acid dyes, the colors are …well …natural. Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend”

Another Fiber-filled Weekend Full of Fun

The Family Collaboration
The Family Collaboration I showed off this weekend

Good grief!  Are there enough F’s in that title for you?  🙂  It truly was a fun fiber-filled weekend.  The anxiety I felt most of last week has subsided now that I am taking Monday to recover.  The blog should be back to normal with daily posts during the week.  I had to take a few days off for my own mental health.

The weather (I must be British) was doomy and gloomy, going from hot to cold with almost constant rain followed by humid days that made me melt like chocolate on the sidewalk.  It was a bad week if you wanted to remain cheerful.

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Working on the Garden This Holiday Weekend

"Supertunia" - Picasso in Blue
“Supertunia” – Picasso in Blue – I love the green edging!

It is the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, the day that we honor the  brave men and women who gave their lives to keep us the land of the free.  It is also the unofficial start of summer when people gather in groups to eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and various “salads” while drinking an assortment of beverages.

What am I planning on doing today?  Well, I do things a bit differently.  Mom and I are planning a trip to Aldi after we grab lunch at our favorite sit-down Chinese restaurant.  Yeah, we’re weird, but it suits us.  Dad will probably do what he does best:  work around the house and yard, take a nap, and be grumpy.

Remember, no family is “normal”.

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A Fiber Swap and Other Fun Stuff this Weekend

What a crazy weather weekend we had!  Saturday was rainy and cold then Sunday was hot and muggy.  I was so grateful that my crochet student gave me a cup of coffee when I came in for our lesson Saturday.  She even turned on the heater since we were both chilled to the bone with the dampness.

Sunday’s fiber swap was a bit nicer when the sun came out for a little bit.  It was so muggy though and the rain was not ready to give up as two showers passed as we spun.

Today’s weather is just about perfect with a few fluffy clouds and a nice breeze that is airing out the damp.  Hopefully, we have a few more days like today before summer hits with a bucket of humidity.

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What’s on My Bobbin? – Multiple Rainbows

Rain, Rain go away!  With all this rain I expect there to be multiple rainbows once the sun returns.  If not, there are several rainbows lying on the bed next to me as I write this blog post.  Currently, it’s steadily raining and the poor chap just outside my window is vainly attempting to leaf blow the wet grass he just cut.  I’d tell him not to even bother, but he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.

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Busy Washing Day on Monday

One of two skeins from an art batt
One of two skeins from an art batt

Normally, washing day happens on Sundays in my house.  It’s the best day since I can usually relax as I wait for the sun to dry my clothes.  This gives me an excuse to play some video games as I “guard” the laundry.

This week I did the clothing laundry as usual, but with a quick tumble in the dryer since the rain just would not let up.  Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and waste the electric just so you don’t smell like a mushroom.

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